The Mail have drafted in Kwasi Kwarteng to write about Rod Liddle's load of racist claptrap. And instead of criticising him for getting everything entirely wrong, Kwasi decides that it's right for Liddle to say what he said:
You may not admire Mr Liddle's style of writing, nor agree with his views, but that does not mean that he should be sacked from the magazine for which he writes, as some have suggested. It is his job to provoke. And that is exactly what he has done.
Provoking,yes. But by saying stuff that isn't true. I don't mind people provoking by using facts and good knockabout arguments and humour, when required. But Liddle didn't use facts. He is either ignorant or a liar. I don't even care which, because it doesn't change what he said. What he said was bullshit. And yet Kwarteng ignores this entirely. He is either ignorant or has decided not to mention the factual errors in Liddle's account, preferring to state:
One controversial report conducted by Scotland Yard last year found that more than half of teen knife crime offences in the capital involve black suspects.
Small wonder, then, that two years ago the Commons home affairs committee warned of a 'serious crisis' among Britain's young community.
It's no use howling 'racism', this is a real problem confronting our society - and despite her politically correct posturing, Diane Abbott knows it.
Strange that Kwarteng couldn't be bothered to look at the actual detail of that report rather than the way the Mail - for it was they - reported it. Five Chinese Crackers, in a post which points out how Liddle's views are more extreme than those expressed by the BNP's Richard Barnbrook, points out:
Quite apart from the fact that Liddle included no data to support his assertion, I happen to know that in the three months to July 2008 black people under the age of 29 made up 239 of 741 people proceeded against for offences involving knives in London. Take that back to under 18, and you get 124. Not really most, huh? Looks like Liddle just repeated crap racist clichés about black people being responsible for most of the crime in London after all (until of course, he produces the evidence he based his assumptions on. I look forward to seeing how he worked out the ethnicity of those responsible for 'street crime').
Bizarrely, my source for the stats about black people not being the biggest group proceeded against knife crime in London comes from a Freedom of Information request. Carried out by the Daily Mail.
But this isn't about the facts. Kwarteng's piece does a couple of things that help the Mail: firstly, it backs up a journalist for using misleading polemic with no facts to back it up whatsoever, calling Liddle 'clumsy' rather than saying he may have been highly offensive and unpleasant; secondly, it points out the disproportionate level of black men involved with
crime arrests (see comments) without ever bothering with the context of social or economic factors, which presumably don't exist. And then there's this:
When people from the West Indies first came to Britain in the late Forties, they were as law-abiding, and often as well-educated, as the indigenous population.
Ah, the 'indigenous population'. And the reply will come back: "Aha, but this is a black man saying this, therefore it can't be racist, can it?" - and it isn't. But the use of the term 'indigenous population' is one generally done by racists or those attempting to create a 'them and us' situation, particularly when discussing immigration. For Kwarteng to use it is, well let's use his own word, 'clumsy'. He goes on to blame the Left, of course, somehow, despite a lot of the criminals he complains about having grown up during Thatcher's time, but it's no surprise he should do that, because this
Kwasi Kwarteng is a former Conservative candidate
appears at the end of the story.
It's a neat piece for the Mail: it looks watertight and unassailable, because it's a member of the black community who's doing the finger-pointing. But I can't help wondering why Liddle's factual assertions, which were entirely wrong, weren't called out. Why not?
Still, I look forward to another article soon, in which a resident of an east London council estate tells Rod Liddle what life is like in his Wiltshire village, just guessing and making up stuff based on what they've heard from their mate down the pub, accusing the majority of people who live there of crimes based on their heritage. I'm sure that'll get published.